Faculty at St. Peterburg College (SPC) have spoken and by a vote of 193-56 established the 34th chapter of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF). With 295 eligible voters, 84 percent of the faculty voted and 78 percent voted yes for unionization. The vote count followed a three-week period of balloting by mail and was certified Thursday, Sept. 30, by the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC). This is the seventh new faculty union organized with UFF since 2016.
“What a historic and powerful vote! We are so pleased with the results of our inclusive and collegial organizing efforts. We look forward to forming our UFF chapter and building upon the strong foundation of the 33 existing UFF chapters statewide,” said political science Professor Heather Roberson.
“Our union victory today represents a unified faculty at our beloved college and our dedication to our students and academic excellence. I am so proud of our faculty for reaching elective consensus on the wisdom to choose UFF as our bargaining agent. Our fledgling union’s deepest wish fosters great hope for a fresh and productive relationship with SPC administration. We look forward with great eagerness to begin working together as mutually empathetic partners while negotiating our first collective bargaining agreement. We plan to initiate these negotiations in the coming months,” said Manoli Gerakios, associate professor of mathematics.
UFF President Andrew Gothard said, “I’m thrilled to welcome the faculty of St. Petersburg College as the 34th chapter in the United Faculty of Florida. With an approval vote of 78 percent, this represents a landslide victory for the hardworking team of leaders and organizers who have fought for the last year to ensure that their colleagues have a say in their working conditions. I look forward to many future successes from the UFF-SPC chapter.”
UFF is the higher education affiliate of the Florida Education Association (FEA) and represents more than 14,000 full-time faculty, including those at all 12 public universities in Florida, at 15 state colleges and community colleges, and at the private Saint Leo University. UFF also represents more than 8,000 graduate assistants at four public universities.